Monday, December 28, 2009
So What Now?
If you haven't heard the news yet, Vinny Prospal will be out for around three weeks after undergoing surgery this morning. Apparently he suffered a lateral meniscus tear during the Islander game, which explains why he played so poorly. Even though he disappears for big stretches at a time, Prospal has been a big part of the Rangers this season and leaves a big void. So what can we do? This is how I see it:
*Option #1: Put Erik Christensen back into the lineup and juggle everyone else around. The Blueshirts dealt with Dubi being out, this really isn't much different. Christensen hasn't really gotten himself a chance to shine as of yet, so maybe this is the opportunity he needs. HOWEVER, January is a ridiculously busy month with 16 games so they might feel too desperate to give Crosby's former running partner a real chance - as they haven't to date.
*Option #2: Call up Corey Locke. Locke is the AHL's leading scorer with 41 points in 34 games with Hartford and has them above .500 at 16-13-5 despite poor goaltending. Valley has a 0.890 save percentage in seven games down there (he is 3-3-1 in case you were curious) and Matt Zaba has been even worse. Locke is undersized but a great puck mover and may just click with a sniper like Gabby. HOWEVER, if the Rangers call up Locke, I believe they risk losing him through waivers on the way back down, which is almost a certainty for any other team that wants to win this season's Calder Cup.
*Option #3: Trade for someone. Sather loves dealing with Phoenix, Robert Lang has 20 points in 39 games and makes just a million bucks so he would be a great fit. HOWEVER, you can be sure Maloney will ask for a high draft pick and a prospect in return - he's no dummy, especially with Sather on the ropes. Plus Phoenix is doing quite well right now despite their ownership so maybe not. Maybe an underachiever like Edmonton's Patrick O'Sullivan would be someone Sather would look at but the 24 year old is just 24 and makes more money so the cost would be high. Is he worth Bobby Sanguinetti and a pick?
*Option #4: Somehow make some cap space and swing a waiver deal with Washington for Michael Nylander. Nylander has 14 points (13 assists) in 11 games with Grand Rapids and knows New York. The Caps would love nothing better than to get rid of him and his salary. HOWEVER, even at half price, the slow 37 year old would have a $1.5 million cap hit for the rest of this season and a $2.4 million hit for next year (thanks CapGeek!).
*Option #5: Go completely off the map, make some massive trade for another half-dead, bloated loser who will hang around the Rangers neck like the albatrosses of Redden, Rozsival and Drury. HOWEVER, what kind of sane general manager would do that?
Personally, I believe that the team will go with the first option for a little while before panicking and making a move of any kind - let's face it, there are other problems that have to be dealt with as well (Kotalik, you SUCK! Three million dollars a year for three years of what? YOUUUUU SUUUUUCK!!!). But, seeing as this is Glen Sather we are talking about, I would lean towards the final option and just be pleasantly surprised if he doesn't drop the ball ...